Sunday, July 31, 2005

Stop the blame game!!!

Vital Stats: 900 odd lives lost in Maharashtra with over 400 lives in Mumbai itself.

The above stats describe the state of affairs that is going on in Maharashtra, especially Mumbai, the commercial capital of India which alone contributes to more than 25% of the GDP of India. This is the worst rains that have hit Mumbai in the last century. The state in which the city is in is pathetic, and that too is an understatement. And what are people doing about that… to describe it in a few words… “Playing the blame game”…

As stated in the last post, Mumbai is getting most of the media coverage these days… sometimes live streams of the streams that are flooding the city… sometimes talk shows about the state of affairs of the city… this post is directed at the latter…

People from all facets of Mumbai are on talk shows… and the only things they are doing are blaming the government, the civic authorities, the municipality and all others in public purview. They blame them for lack of planning, lack of disaster management, lack of support, lack of people to carry out the work at affected places and all other possible things that could come to their mind…

Let me remind all the people blaming others about the fact that the people working in all of these above stated organizations are also “human beings”. They too have sons/ daughters / fathers / mothers / brothers / sisters who could have stuck up somewhere neck-deep in some part of Mumbai.

They too use vehicles to get to affected places, not to mention which get stuck up like all other vehicles (the ones that the people recklessly leave on the road). The people who do the dirty work on the roads are not the ones that use helicopters… they too are the ones who are affected by the lack of buses and trains… please UNDERSTAND that…

How many of us, did actually try and help others… where were our civic responsibilities. Almost all of us were in the confinements of our dry houses and were lazing our asses off on the “heavenly relief” that we have received. How can we expect others to work at 150% for us in the downpour, when we ourselves are confined and cocooned in our houses putting no effort towards anything?

How many of us dared to go out to work when our sons / daughters / fathers / mothers / brothers / sisters were missing? Doesn’t the same apply to those guys?

(Off Track)I would like to point out a woman, one from a well-to-do family, not a social worker, talking about what the government is doing about the people in the slums. I am sure this woman would be a part of another talk show where she would object to slum dwellings in and around her apartment… (She looked bitchy enough to be capable of doing that)

The point here is, what we need right now is not blames on each other but support from each other and not just the authorities… the authorities are doing their job… to their full capabilities or not is not the question as the downpour has the same effect on them as it has on the vast majority… so lets just co-operate…

adios…

PS: The author has done nothing to help people in trouble. All he was doing was playing games, surfing and sleeping… so please forgive any overstatements therein... and Abhi, look closely, the title is not capitalized :-)

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Can Somebody Tell Me Why?

This is a post that I am writing after 3 days of resting my ass off at home after the huge deluge in Mumbai. All I have been doing for those 3 days at home is sleeping, playing “max payne 2” and whatever time left (if any) to think to myself. This thinking has brought me to this post. Actually there could be another post on max payne 2, but I thought this was more important. I am in a confused state of mind, which I am always… let me be frank with this. The confusion is on a very important issue “The Value Of Human Lives”… read ahead…

This question popped into my mind after the deluge in Mumbai. It rained for approximately 48 hours (2 days) non-stop in Mumbai and brought the commercial capital of India to a stand-still claiming some 150 odd human lives, destroying livestock, and money worth crores of rupees actually “going down the drain”. This deluge has been the content for continuous media coverage for almost all the channels and this coverage extended beyond 120 hours (5 days) and is still being on air.

Just sometime back, there were floods in some parts of Gujarat, where it rained for more than 4 days claiming much more than 500 lives, destroying livestock and again humungous amount of losses. What I fail to understand is the fact that why does the rains in Mumbai, get more media coverage? When the effect in Gujarat has been more devastating than here, why does the news out there get aired for just a few hours and then *boom*, its over. Is it because Mumbai is the commercial capital of India? Is it because people in Mumbai have more “value” than the people of Gujarat? Is human value based on geographics?

I guess it’s the media that decides what “sells” and what doesn’t…

This extends not just to rains but a lot of other incidents too. Lets take an example of the London bombings… all in all 100 people may have died (that’s an overstatement in terms of count)… and that precisely is the number of people who die in Iraq in little skirmishes on a daily basis… Why isn’t the deaths in Iraq given air-time. Aren’t they human beings… are they devaluated because of their location…

This in-turn makes me think, at this rate, someday human beings will be commoditized. We will have over the counter trades, futures, options and derivatives in human beings. We would invest in human beings and their valuation will move up and down like the sensex. That day, the guy from bangalore, the gal from new york, the guy from syracuse etc would be termed as “blue-chip” human beings… the others... dunno much abt their valuation...

Looking forward to such a day… wonder what will be my valuation then?

adios…

PS: That brings me to a point… that the person with the media coverage is the most powerful person today… but that again is a different post…

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Barsaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat Ki Ek Raat

I couldn’t find a better fitting title to my post. For people who know nothing about Hindi, the title of the post translated into English is “A Raiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny Night”. Anyway, it rained cats and dogs in Mumbai last night. I think “cats and dogs” is too small to describe this rainfall. It should actually have been it has been raining “blue whales and grizzlies” or “hippos and rhinos” or “elephants and silverbacks” or “t-rex and stegy”… take your pick…

I don’t know how Noah managed it for 40 days (not to mention 40 nights) with the animals on an ark… So now you get to know where the script of the movie “40 days and 40 nights” comes from… Anyhow, getting back to the topic, it has been raining continuously in areas in Mumbai for the last 36 hrs and life has come to a stand still. It’s not just a deluge… It’s an extra-super-hyper deluge. Trains, buses, cars, cycles, bikes and human beings all submerged according to their respective height. Till the latest reports this deluge has claimed around 104 lives already and coastal areas in Mumbai and the interiors of Maharashtra have been red alerted.

To just give you an example of how life came to a stand-still here in Mumbai, let me say that my mom took 16 hours to get home that normally takes about 15 mins to ½ hour. My sis got stuck up at some goddamn place for hours together and took 25 odd hours to get home that generally takes an hour or 2 at max or so. All my friends, let me assume, coz I haven’t spoken to each and every one of them didn’t leave the cozy environment of the office, just like me. I wish that every person on this blogosphere who resides in Mumbai and around Maharashtra is safe and sound.

I was in the office for 36 odd hours beginning Tuesday morning and decided to go home after it briefly stopped raining. There are still people on the central line who have got stuck up at CST station and there is no way to get back home for them.

I just can’t think of what could have happened in Gujarat when it was raining for more than 100 hours. Just can’t think of the probable repercussions out there. I even can’t think of what would be happening in “Chirapunji” in Assam, where this type of rainfall is common… All that I can think of right now is that I am here safe at my place, writing this post and I am thankful to god and the rain god for that.

adios…

PS 1: I saw Mr Srinivasan Jain of NDTV, using a plane to cover the flooded Mumbai areas and guess what he showed on TV. The flooded airport and the flooded “JUHU RAILWAY STATION”… can anyone please tell me where’s that (did I hear, men don’t like asking for directions)

PS 2: Abhi, tell me seriously, how many freaking donkeys you got married… or is Pals around here in India?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Built For A Kill

Last night, yours truly was watching a series on Nat Geo titled the title of this post. Confused? Here’s the simpler version. Last night I was watching this series called “Built For A Kill” on National Geographic Channel.

The series was about, how various animals are provided with various body parts (claws, teeth, poison glands etc) and how these animals are like “customized” killing creatures. Two things that came to my mind after the episode got over. That’s what I am here to discuss. So without further ado, lets look at the supply of these two thoughts.

1. National Geographic is completely out of touch when it comes to the current happenings. It had completely left out one creature. Though this creature was not originally built to kill, it adapted itself to situations that were never there. It created organs and weapons to kill (though it was not bestowed with one) and it has been doing it successfully for the last so many centuries. And yet, these stupid telecasters left out this species. How can they be so stupid, how can they miss out on “Human Beings

2. “Everything happens for a reason” (This is Abhi’s fav line. He will be proud of me for using this). And how does this thought apply here. Read ahead… If god ever existed (and I will be optimistic here and go ahead with the assumption that god did exist) and if god is the one who made all creatures (including human beings), there is a reason for not providing the human beings with the “killing organs”. The reason being simple, he never wanted human beings to kill each other for no goddamn reason. He wanted peace to prevail out here.

So you gangsters of London, WTC, Iraq, Kashmir (not to forget Miss ‘K’ Kapoor and hordes of people). If any or every one of you is lucky (or otherwise) enough to read this post of mine, “stop killing innocent people”. You are NOT DESIGNED to do that, biologically and otherwise. And not to mention, you are NOT AUTHORIZED for a design change (which in turn would call for a change in User Requirements, SRS, Data Design, Code, Test Cases etc). And if at all you need anything destructive to be a part of your life-style, you are most welcome to the blogosphere (or worse, read my blogs… that’s ultimate destruction).

adios…

Monday, July 18, 2005

Tag This!!!

I have been “tagged” by some “god sent devil” and here’s my list of books that I bought, books that I stole, books that I read upside down, books that I read with a magnifying glass etc.

I have been “tagged” by some “devil’s advocate” and here’s the list of names ppl call me with, n things I like about myself, n things I don’t like about myself, n things I am wearing right now, n things I am not wearing right now etc.

Does this sound similar… Read on… On an average every 4.78th blog has this “Oh My God, I have been tagged" thingy (believe in the stats). I find it pretty irritating (nothing against the ones who write it). But the whole concept of tagging itself is like a “fwd” mail business, where if you don’t forward the mail to 348 addresses, some dog might pee on the toe of your left leg (yes that’s right, even if you are wearing a tight shoe)

I find this complete “tagging” business boring and traumatizing to the extreme. Aren’t blogs supposed to be a reflection of someone’s mind… and not someone’s almirah of books or clothes? If they aren’t, read no further, you can click a photo of your almirah and have them on the blog. I am sure no one will tag you then, will they?

Anyhoo, I think tagging actually implies that the blogger is running out of ideas (the phase that I am actually going through right now and hence an indirect post on tagging). So where was I… yeah running out of ideas. So this blogger Mr K, runs out of ideas or is working idly like Mr Iyer Supply or nothing strange is happening around his life for him to note down and post. So what does Mr K (tagger) do... he makes a list of books/cds/dvds and puts it online and asks other people (taggees) to put the list too… that is tagging (at least for me)… and the others follow (taggees in turn become taggers), creating a chain of tags… and one fine day all you can read on the blogosphere are names of books, names of people, names of garments, cd titles, dvd titles etc.

One observation, some (or most) bloggers (taggers and taggees) have empty profiles (as in blogger profiles). Silly isn’t it… people don’t fill up their profiles fearing revelation of their identities but provide ‘n’ names by which people affectionately call them. They don’t reveal the industry they are working for but they reveal the names of kids that they are going to have… shabaash… the above quoted were just examples of what people hide from their profile and what they reveal in the tags… so tagging must be like a mini-skirt… hiding and at the same time revealing too :-)

Inference:
Tagging = Mail Forwarding
Tagging = No More Ideas
Tagging = Mini Skirt

Therefore: Mini Skirt = No More Ideas & No More Ideas = Mail Forwarding (whatever they mean)

Now I tag chandu, champak, lallu, panjoo, chirkut, ashok and ramesh to take this chain (not the one which one pulls to stop the train) forward...

adios...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Classifieds

Work Place
We have offices in every state of India. We are headquartered at New Delhi. Our offices offer you the best infrastructure where you get together to decide the fate of the state or country (depending upon postion).. (exact description of a place where you should not work)

Work Environment
All the employees get together to discuss business and end up throwing chairs, tables, fans & microfones at each other and to add to that bad-mouth each other… the employees are authorized to use all forms of gaalis, that’s the kind of freedom that we provide… astounding (perfectly hostile work environment)

Salary & Perquisites
The base salary would be very low as compared to industry averages, but keep an eye of the perquisites. Sponsored car. Free peena & khana and stay at lush row houses. Free travel and stay at rest houses especially built for our employees. Not to add, the exorbitant amount collected by way of bribes. The better you perform the more bribe you get (variable salary components).

Pre-Requirements
Should be Indian by birth (now we have started to accept other nationals too, provided they are either mother-in-laws or daughter-in-laws). Should not be educated above Std. XII (decent education leads to progress… and you know that’s exactly what we don’t need). Should have a clean record but with cases pending for at least rape or extortion or murder or scam or all of these.

Recruitment Policy
Once you are shortlisted for some project (after due consideration of funds etc), the clients (masses) shall decide if you are worthy enough of being in the project. Complete support will be given to you to misguide / cheat / screw the clients once you are “ON” the project. Until then, you have to act as the client says or do what they wish.

We are an equal opportunity provider, and we provide equal opportunity for all to squander the wealth of the nation, dutifully and legally.

any idea what organization is this ?

adios…

Monday, July 11, 2005

Shangrila la la la…

Shangrila is a water resort on Mumbai Nashik Road, approximately 50 kms from Mumbai and served as a weekend getaway for Abhi, Alap, Mannu, Baangdu, Andy, Paro and yours truly. 7 guys having a ball for 2 days at the water resort. Nothing could be better than that…

It all started on Friday night, when me and abhi got booze (how cud we miss out on that) to be carried to Shangrila and planned for the next 2 days. It was all set, Saturday morning was the time when people were supposed to meet up outside “Welcome” shop. And as usual, things didn’t start off on time, some of them were late (I would not name them or I get beaten up), but the important thing is that we departed for Shangrila… here we come…

The drive en-route Shangrila was scenic to say the least, with greenery (mountains and trees) and blackery (clouds) making the best climate to drive towards Shangrila. Snaps were clicked in both cars (alap and paro) and we finally got to the W (Water Park), spot. No rooms available for check in, caused us to drive a bit further and get a decent sized room and get back to the water resort for some “jal kreeda”.

And “jal kreeda” it was… the whole day of Saturday, till 6 in the evening just breaking for breakfast and some sumptuous lunch. Some preferred the thrill of rides, and some preferred to be like hippos (lazing around in the pool) but all in all it was fun. One thing that was worth remembering that day was a group of women who walked in… scintillating, amazing, cutie pies… I have run out of words to describe them…

Anyhow, the evening sets in and everybody is ready for another sort of “jal kreeda” this time the “jal” is intoxicated and needs to be consumed. And then it began at 7 in the evening and lasted till 2 in the night and what amazing rounds of booze we had, with some intermittent dance performances by yours truly and baangdu. At 1 in the night, we go out on the highway to have dinner and boy was it was amazing or what… come back have some more booze and zzzzzzzzz…

Sunday: the first one to wake up was alap at 10 in the morning. 12 is the time for check out. We still had some time to spend and booze to finish. And what better breakfast than booze along with a hot cup of tea / coffee. And so it was, the morning spent in having the remainder of the booze and we check out in time. We go to the same dhaba and have heavy brunch and set off for our homes. En-route we go to Mahape Business Park… great place to get to work… and then back to our cozy homes… right where we started… it was fun and I guess we shud keep planning such trips for the future as well.

I have already noted the trip down in my blogiary (that’s a blog diary)… if anyone of the tripees (the ones who went to the trip) need the same, you can contact me with advance royalty fees. And last but not the least, Shangrila: if your sales soar… you know whom to pay the commission to :)

adios…

Monday, July 04, 2005

John Gray Meets V Robots

This post is a result of two very interesting views. One Mr John Gray and the other Mr Apoorva Joshi. The end result would be no less than vandalizing and traumatizing to the human mind.

View 1:
Mr Apoorva Joshi - When things get too monotonous (and probably boring) we humans end up getting programmed too… examples are order taking at various places like Mcdonalds where repetition is the core of any person who takes the order…

View 2:
Mr John Gray (In his book, Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus). I don’t remember the exact lines but here is a gist of it. Women don’t need solutions for their problems from men; they just want men to listen attentively to them.

The above two views are not conflicting each other. They stand perfectly by themselves. But a couple of women commented that View 1 stood right and the people who work in those places don’t need to be attentive, they can work the way they currently do without any changes to it. Hmmm… that brought me to this post…

The situation is this… A married couple… Wife (W) comes back after a bad and tiring day at office… Husband (H) is the guy from Mcdonalds… he isn’t attentive and listening to all that she has to say, but interrupts with repetitive questions… the conversation follows…

W: Hi Darling
H: Hi Darling, Can I have the details of your day? (Notepad in hand, pencil over the ear)

W: It was a bad day today
H: How bad was that, was it “somebody slap you bad” or “you fall in gutter” bad?

W: Worse than that
H: Worse than what, “somebody slap…” “or fall in…”?

W: (Why the hell is he not listening to me… anyhow)
H: (I hope I am following the right protocols… let me wait for the next one)

W: My Boss called me up in the cabin and fired me upside down :-(
H: Which boss, your immediate boss or the one above him (sure the chairman wont call a puny person like you)

W: How does it make a difference? (Has he gone nuts?)
H: The latter increases the scale of badness of your day as compared to the former

W: Then during lunch, I spilt the soup on myself… so terrible…
H: How much portion of the soup did you spill on yourself… ¼, ½, ¾ or full?

W: What difference does it make?
H: Determines the amount of detergent to be used to clean your clothes

W: Then on my way back, a bus splashed muddy water all over me (now determine the detergent needed you dimwit)
H: What kind of bus was that… And What Kind of Pit was it… And How far were you from the pit… (We can sue the driver for being inattentive and make money out of it)

W: Did you listen to what was I saying or were you just hearing it out (and of course ask stupid questions… the worstest way to end my worse day)
H: But you said you liked me the way I am at work, asking questions for every orders and repeating the same thing again and again, this prevents me from committing mistakes (can somebody tell me what women want)

W: That applies to everyone except me (I’m special you see)
H: OK darling… anything else to go with that (ooops.. there I go again)

Bottom line: It pays to be attentive sometimes :)

adios… (line after bottom line)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Brand THIS

As taught in books at all B-Schools, the normal procedure for branding would be have a nice catchy name, get a good logo, advertise to the hilt… blah… blah… blah… blah… All these procedures actually runs into millions of funds as investment… And today we find only the big-wigs who are into the race of making / acquiring brands… and converting them into so called “Power Brands”… well done… shabaash…

But what I would like to get to the notice here is that there is a shop (you read it right, a small shop not a company) that has been slowly and steadily building up a brand for itself for the last 'n' number of years… and follows none of the “procedures” stated in bulky books of branding.

The shop that I am talking about is the “Michael Pinto Undertakers” at Mahim, Mumbai. These guys are small time undertakers and the only thing that differentiates them from the others are the little one-liners they put outside the shop… currently it reads…

Many People are DYING For Our SERVICES

earlier it used to be…

Remember, We Will Be The Last Ones To LET YOU DOWN

Isnt it Branding? Yes it is... I have not come across a single person who passes through that road and doesn’t know “Micheal Pinto Undertakers”. Anyhow, that was not the point that I was making. The point is that all books point out the fact that branding is successful when you are able to capture the attention of the prospective customer. I would beg to differ and say that Branding is and will be successful if you are able to, connect to the customer at an emotional and mental level.

Going by this, our pan-beediwalas, sabjiwalas, doodhwalas, kaamwalis and all other possible walas and walis would be a brand by themselves if they could do something (not necessarily involving cost) to connect to the customer in some way or form…

Watch out HLL, P&G, Coke, Pepsi and all you big wigs… if all (or some on second thoughts) (or none on third thoughts) the walas and walis read this post… you have competition from all “gali kopchas” across the globe :)

adios…

Friday, July 01, 2005

Change

Following Apoo and Abhi (I do excellent copying), I decided to give my blog a new template... not that diwali has arrived, but still I thought it was time to buy new clothes for this blog...

So I have completely stripped the blog off the old chaddi and baniyan and got this a new shining "partywear" chaddi & baniyan...

hope you like this (doesnt matter to me if you dont)

adios...